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June 2022

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PRCC’s Adult Ed graduates large class

PRCC’s Adult Ed graduates large class

PRCC Adult Educaton Graduates walk across stage

It was another record-setting year for the Adult Education program at Pearl River Community College. 

More than 250 students graduated. During commencement Thursday, May 26, at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, 110 students walked across the stage to receive their high school equivalency diplomas. 

“This is a night for true celebration,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood told the graduates. “You have trusted us with your futures and you have overcome a lot to get here. You guys are heroes. You are special. You are family. This is such a special time.”        

Graduation speaker was Dr. Raymunda Barnes, Assistant Vice President for PRCC’s Hancock Campus in Waveland. He challenged graduates to continue to fulfill your dreams.

“You made it. You finished. Now what?” said Barnes. “The journey is not over. Achievement is an ongoing process. As you leave here tonight, the work continues. Too many eyes are depending on you to show them the way.”

Some graduates, like Meghan Galarza of Bay St. Louis, see this as a life-changing experience. She is a CNA and plans to enter the PRCC nursing program.

Meghan Galarza PRCC Adult Education Graduation 2022

“I am very excited and proud,” said Galarza, 25. “I have three children and two step children, so for them to see me finish this means a lot.”

The same goes for April Ulerich, 52, of Picayune who pursued her GED to advance in her job as a cafeteria manager.

April Ulerich PRCC Adult Education Graduation 2022

“I am very grateful for the adult ed program,” she said. “Thanks to this degree, I am now able to receive a promotion at my work.”

Kris Jordan, 27, of Tupelo, a CNA and EMT, sees endless possibilities in her future.

Kris Jordan PRCC Adult Education Graduation 2022

“Being able to go at my speed and to meet incredible teachers who helped me stay focused and stay on track was important to me,” said Jordan.

Donavon Clark, Jr., 34, of Hancock County wants to become a drone technician.

Donavon Clark PRCC Adult Education graduate 2022

“This diploma means I can do anything,” he said. “This is the beginning of another life for me.”

LaTynia Allen, 49, of Hattiesburg wants t open her own daycare one day.

LaTynia Allen PRCC Adult Education graduate 2022

“This feels awesome,” she said. “It took me six- and one-half years, but I never gave up.”

Sandra Kelley, who came from Fulia, Venezuela, moved to Hattiesburg because of her husband’s work. She would like to teach Spanish in school.

Sandra Kelley PRCC Adult Education graduate 2022

“This was an amazing experience for me, especially with the people at Pearl River,” said Kelley, 32. “The support I received and their help inspired me, and I got to make very good friends. It feels refreshing and good to achieve this.”

Some of the graduates not only got their diplomas, but also received workforce certificates for completing additional courses during their GED journey.

The Director of Adult Education at PRCC is Ruby Smith. Chris Maul is the Adult Education Coordinator; Michelle Wilson-Stokes, the Dean of Students; and Rebecca Brown, Dean of Workforce and Community Education.     


Forrest Lamar Adult Education graduates 2022

Graduates from Forrest and Lamar counties included from right: Seated - Serena Skabialka, Jeremy Brackett, Jacob Johnson, Morgan Herrin, Lindsey Muirhead, Tiani Jackson, Rebekah Stewart, Mechelle Holden, Jasmine Jones,  Destiny Murphy, Cayleigh Hamill, Landon Trahan, Zaire Simpson, and Kerri Simpson. Second row – Andrew Green, Dustin Simmons, Jerri Daughtrey, Zoey Sheets, Sandra Kelley, Kris Jordan, Jessie Blackwell, Shelby Clark, Asia Henderson, LaTynia Allen, Elizabeth Picazo, Jordyn Jenkins, Brianna Hernandez and Sonya Boggs. Back row - Blake Wardle, Lindsey Cuevas, Channing Powell, Christopher Leggett, Joseph Conner Hall, Lavelle Williams, Ervin Lopez, Marissa Lee, Emily Easterling, Abby Grantham, Christopher Turner, William Ian Rushing, Bridget Tidwell, Terry C. Pinter, Nick Walker and Cole Burrell. 


2022 Adult Education graduates from Hancock Marion

Graduates from Marion and Hancock counties included from right: Front row - Michele Guerrera, Victoria Denney, Kaylyanne Hinman, Ashley Boswell, April Ulerich, Seanna Cooper, Cesley White, Jaelyn Dillard and Laura Boone. Back row - Jonathan Thompson, Joseph Curry, Alex Gray, Raymond Davis,  Nicholas Molinary, Kimberly Chisholm, Jonah Parker, Chad Dillard and Tiara Patrick.


Pearl River County graduates from Adult Education

Graduates from Pearl River County included from right: Front row - Zykia McDonald, Ethan Joseph Cuevas, Lanny Picou, Mikaela Meyer, Mercedes McCarty, Scarlett Zazueta, Bonnie Trotter, Talina Charlot, Meghan Galarza, Lila Brewer, Callie Ortiz, Madison Hope Seal, and Skyler Pasquarello. Second row - Donavon Clark, Alexander Roberts, Nasiah Richard, Grant Matheny, Trent Matheny, Gi'Armani Torregano, Hunter Elkins, Simone Chiasson, Tiffanie Hill, Rachel Meadows, Dalton Ledet, Logan McCullough, Gillian Moore and Mariah Mason. Back row - Dakeljin Gray, Sofia Huff, Kaden Ray, Justin Woodham, Noah Williams, Kaitlyn Stephens, Dale Cuevas and Da'Zyaha Gray.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG). 

June 1, 2022 - 4:17pm
2022 Summer Bridge-to-College program at PRCC accepting applications

2022 Summer Bridge-to-College program at PRCC accepting applications

Young adult male wearing grey tshirt with wildcat head smiles with other students in the background. Text Reads: 2022 Summer Bridget (SMART) Program; June 29 2022 to July 29 2022 Register Now

First-time students planning to attend Pearl River Community College in the fall can start the transition to college this summer. The Student Support Services (SSS) department is offering the opportunity for qualifying students to earn up to nine college credits and pay no tuition as part of the 15th Annual Summer Bridge-to-College (START) program. 

The START program is offered on the Poplarville campus. Eligible students take three courses: Basic Communication Skills (Reading/English), Basic Computation Skills (Pre-Algebra), and Community College Survival Skills. These courses will count towards the student’s overall grade point average at PRCC but will not count toward graduation.  

The goal of the START program is to ensure that students have a successful first semester in college, stay in school, maintain a good academic standing, and graduate from PRCC before transferring to a four-year college. It helps academically underprepared students increase their academic skills and prepare for college.  

Students with ACT scores below 18 in English, Reading or Math find it especially helpful. The bridge program can also give confidence to non-traditional students who have been out of school for five years or more.  

Classes are held Monday through Thursday plus one Friday from June 29 - July 28. Applications are accepted until June 15 with a limit of 30 participants.  

Interested students should contact Student Support Services at (601) 403-1356 or (601) 403-1043 for more information.  


Students must complete the following requirements in order to participate:  

  • Be accepted into PRCC from the admissions department 

  • Be eligible for Student Support Services (must meet at least one of the three listed below): 
  • Neither of your parents graduated from a four-year college 
  • You have a financial need (considered low income by the federal guidelines) 
  • You have a documented disability 
  • Have an academic need (need to increase academic skills), especially for students with an ACT of 18 or less or students who have been out of school for several years 


If eligible, the program is tuition free. However, there are some costs the student is responsible for paying such as books, online fees, course fees, and housing if living on campus. Students may qualify for a Pell Grant that could cover these costs. To receive a Pell Grant, a student must complete the 2021-22 Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) before beginning the program. SSS employees are available to help with filling out the FAFSA if needed.   


The SSS department also provides other services at no charge to its students: one-on-one tutoring; academic, career and financial advising; success workshops; cultural and transfer field trips; transfer assistance; free printing and more.   

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG). 

June 7, 2022 - 10:51am
PRCC Chief of Police continues family legacy

PRCC Chief of Police continues family legacy

Gene Keith PRCC Chief of Police stands by a golf cart outside the Poplarville Campus Police Station

When Charles Kindja arrived at Pearl River Community College in 1984, he joined what was then a campus “security” team. During his tenure, a full police department was formed for the campus thanks to his efforts. Today, his grandson-in-law, Albert Eugene (Gene) Keith III serves as the PRCC Chief of Campus Police in Poplarville. 

Like police departments for cities and towns, the men and women who work in Public Safety at PRCC wear many hats. They not only enforce local laws and regulations, but they are trained to be first responders for other emergency situations. Crisis intervention is another hat they wear with regular training to help them meet that need on campus.  

“Today's society and how we manage the campus is different than it was even in the 1980s when security teams were the norm,” said Director of Public Safety Butch Raby. “PRCC is like a little city inside Poplarville with us observing all the same laws the local communities follow.” 

There are two campus police stations with certified staff to keep our students and employees safe; one located on the Poplarville Campus and one on our Forrest County Campus. The Hancock Campus has a security guard on site. 

“We see people in the worst and the best of times,” said Keith. “We wear many hats, some of which people do not see but make a difference. Our sole purpose is to make this campus a safe place for everybody.” 

To get grants, officers need to be certified through the state to standards. This includes training hours plus going through the police academy. Additionally, the department has annual training to keep their skills current.  

“It’s been said this is the best kept secret in law enforcement — working for a college,” said Keith. “You still deal with a lot of the same stuff you do on the street, but you can help guide students making the transition from childhood to adulthood.  

“We can help them learn that with every action comes a consequence and that everywhere has rules and regulations. You get to watch students grow and then some come back to PRCC.” 


Chief Charlie Kindja stands by new cruiser outside Campus Police station on the Poplarville Campus

From 1958-1962, Kindja joined the United States Navy, serving as a SOG3 (Special Operations Group), a precursor to the Navy Seals. He then joined the New Orleans Police Department where he worked his way up the ranks to Sergeant before retiring in 1984.  

He then began his new career at PRCC in the security office to start. During his tenure, he attended training at USM so that the college could have a police department. After all officers were trained and passed the tests to become police officers, the college sought and received certification from the state. Kindja then became the first Chief, a role he had until his retirement in 2009. 

Law enforcement runs in the family. Kindja’s granddaughter Casey McInnis serves as the director of the 15th Circuit Intervention Court program for MDOC. His other granddaughter Brittney Keith served as a dispatcher for the Picayune Police Department and as a corrections officer for the Pearl River Sheriff Department. Both of his grandson-in-laws are committed law enforcement professionals including Keith at PRCC and Chris McInnis currently with the Poplarville School District.  


Keith graduated from Picayune High School and initially became a preacher with a desire to help others. After being a volunteer fireman with the Carriere and Pinegrove Fire Departments for six years, he joined the Picayune Police Department in 2004 as a Reserve officer. In 2006, he was hired as a full-time officer and attended the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy. Shortly after his training, he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant. He also served as the head of the Field Training Officer Program.  

He came to PRCC in 2012 with a quick promotion to Patrol Sergeant. He was promoted to Chief of Police in 2021.  

Keith is also a founding member and former Vice President of the Mississippi Chapter IX Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. He lives in Poplarville with his wife Brittney. Together they have five children and one grandchild. 

“Gene has been in law enforcement for 18 years, 10 of which have been here,” said Raby. “He’s continued to do an excellent job and is an asset to this institution.” 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG). 

June 7, 2022 - 3:22pm
Rising star Adam Doleac to take the stage at PRCC for memorable concert

Rising star Adam Doleac to take the stage at PRCC for memorable concert

Fans of upbeat music with a country flair can help kickoff the fall semester at Pearl River Community College as Adam Doleac comes to campus. The South Mississippi native and former Southern Miss baseball fan favorite is a quick rising star in the music industry. The concert will be held on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. inside the state-of-the-art Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts in Poplarville. 

Sponsored by the Pearl River County Chapter of the PRCC Alumni Association, funds raised from the concert will go to the chapter and the PRCC Development Foundation. Scholarships will be the primary beneficiary with some proceeds being designated for supporting the overall efforts of the College in areas like enrollment, retention, and graduation of students. 

“Having a local artist come to Poplarville to join the efforts to help raise money for students to attend college is an exciting opportunity,” said Traci Spence, member of the Pearl River County Alumni Chapter and PRCC Foundation Board Member. “We are happy to have Adam Doleac bring his talent to the stage and we expect to have a great crowd.” 

Tickets for the concert are $17 for balcony seating and $22 for orchestra seating. They can be purchased at 


Doleac is a Hattiesburg native who attended Southern Miss to play baseball. During his time on campus, he also set the stage for a career as a singer-songwriter as most of his teammates played instruments. While honing his music skills, he co-wrote songs with teammates including an original song posted to YouTube that received millions of views and piqued the interest of Sony/ATV Nashville’s then-CEO, Troy Tomlinson. 

He moved to Nashville in 2012 which served as homebase for years of co-writing and tours before finally signing a deal with Sony/ATV. He worked on songs like Kane Brown’s “Pull It Off,” Darius Rucker’s “Don’t,” and Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Rollin” before launching his debut extended play (EP) titled Adam Doleac in 2017. The four songs on that EP had exposure on Sirius XM’s The Highway and their Highway Finds Tour. 

In October 2018, Doleac made his Grand Ole Opry debut. One year later, he signed with Arista Records with songs “Famous,” “Whiskey’s Fine,” “Another,” and “Meet Me in the City” growing in popularity on country stations across the nation.  

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG)

June 9, 2022 - 11:24am
Traveling tech tracks success back to PRCC

Traveling tech tracks success back to PRCC

Evan McDonnell  PRCC graduate Biomedical Technician

Pearl River Community College graduate Evan McDonnell has a message for students looking for a career-technical program to consider when trying to decide on a career choice.

“The instructors, campus-wide, at PRCC were knowledgeable and respectful and want you to achieve success,” said McDonnell, 28, who graduated from the Industrial Electronics Technology department in 2020. “Your instructors want you to succeed and they want to get down on a personal basis with you, and that is why they are an important part of PRCC’s success.”

One of his instructors was Sam McNease, who teaches Industrial Electronics Technology.

“Evan was a very dedicated student in the program,” said McNease. “He was an excellent work study and always took the time to help other students. We are very proud of him and he is well deserving of his career success.”

After graduating from PRCC, McDonnell worked for GE Healthcare at a major hospital in New Orleans. “I serviced and repaired medical equipment and systems,” he said.

After getting two years of experience, he changed companies and became a traveling biomedical electronics technician.

“I fly around the country and have all expenses paid for, while also making considerably more money than a stationary technician,” said McDonnell. “The places I go to are usually in dire need of assistance or short-handed or in the middle of a special project or instillation.”

McDonnell graduated from St. Martin High School before going to college. While at PRCC, he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and served as president of the National Technical Honors Society.

Said McDonnell, “I enjoyed my time at Pearl River much more as compared to schools where instructors had hundreds of students. I would recommend PRCC to any student looking for a career.”

Dr. James Collum said McDonnell is one student who took advantage of his opportunities at PRCC.

“Evan was an outstanding student and is an example of what it means to be a Wildcat,” said Dr. Collum. “I am glad to see students like Evan use the skills they obtained while at PRCC to pursue their dreams. I have no doubts he will continue to be successful and advance in his career as a Biomedical Technician.” 

Students interested in learning more information about the Industrial Electronics Department call, call 601-554-5505, email:;; or visit the Forrest County Campus on U.S. 49 South. 

To apply, go to

June 13, 2022 - 10:06am
Pierce family helping forge future automotive workers while honoring a father's legacy

Pierce family helping forge future automotive workers while honoring a father's legacy

Alton Pierce from Toyota of Hattiesburg presents donation to Delana Harris of Pearl River Community College

Pearl River Community College students in the Automotive program will have one more option for support while pursuing their education after the recent formation of the Max R. Pierce Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship has been established by Alton and Julie Pierce in memory of Alton’s father, Max, who was involved in the Hattiesburg automotive industry for nearly 50 years. 

Max Pierce at Toyota of Hattiesburg

“I am happy to honor my father’s memory in the automotive industry by creating the Max R. Pierce Automotive Vo-tech Scholarship Fund at Pearl River Community College,” said Alton Pierce. “My father always said that ‘The Greatest need in AMERICA is Education.’  

“By creating this scholarship, the Alton Pierce family hopes to continue to support this need.” 

The scholarship will pay for the two full years of tuition for the completion of the Automotive Mechanics Technology Program. The scholarship recipient can be from any surrounding county. 

“Scholarships like this one play a vital role in the success of our students,” said Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association Delana Harris. “Not only do they allow us to recruit the best students in the area, but they also allow us to retain the students and see them through that degree or credential.” 

Through the scholarship, the Pierce family is creating a legacy while supporting students. The family contributed $10,000 to establish the scholarship. Donations made in lieu of flowers after Max’s passing have added an additional $3,800 to the fund. In addition, they have asked Toyota Community to match their donation and donations made in their father’s name.  

The main goal of the scholarship is to partner with high school vo-tech centers in our area to help students who are interested in working in the automotive services arena. The students can then continue their studies at PRCC in the Automotive Mechanics Technology program working towards a technical certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree. 

Dean of Career and Technical Education - Poplarville/Hancock Dr. Amy Townsend said, “The program equips students with all they need to pass the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification Exam. We are continually hearing from local employers seeking technicians with this credential.” 

“Our service department is always looking for eager individuals looking to begin their career in the automotive industry,” said Alton Pierce. “Toyota of Hattiesburg enjoys hosting different high schools and demonstrating the jobs available in the car industry.”  

The Pierce family has multiple ties to PRCC. Alton attended classes at The River and Julie was an English and Reading Instructor at the Forrest County Campus. Additionally, Alton’s mother Barbara Harwell Pierce was in the first Cosmetology class at PRCC.  

Max Pierce founded Toyota of Hattiesburg in 1975. Ownership has now passed onto Alton. 

Display to remember the life of Max Pierce and his contributions



Anyone interested in starting a scholarship fund can start the process through an online form at  The scholarship can be named and have specific criteria for the eligibility of students for the award. Fully funding a scholarship requires a minimum of $10,000 that can be delivered over time or in a lump sum.  

Questions about the process can be directed to Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association Delana Harris at

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG)

June 16, 2022 - 3:33pm
Dr. Raymunda Barnes of PRCC completes American Association of Community Colleges John E. Roueche Future Presidents Institute

Dr. Raymunda Barnes of PRCC completes American Association of Community Colleges John E. Roueche Future Presidents Institute

Dr Raymunda Barnes Hancock Campus

Pearl River Community College (PRCC) Assistant Vice President Raymunda Barnes, Ed.D., has successfully completed the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) John E. Roueche Future Presidents Institute in Washington, D.C.  His participation provided an opportunity to network with colleagues from all regions of the country on topics relating to institutional leadership, student success, advocacy, governance, and legislation, while honing leadership skills and engaging in a dialogue with experienced community college leaders. 

“Completing the AACC Future Presidents Institute, provided me with an opportunity to gain insight from highly skilled presidents and chancellors in areas such as fundraising, relationship cultivation, institutional leadership, infrastructure, and institutional policy, to name a few,” said Dr. Barnes.  “The time spent in Washington and lessons learned will be used to contribute to the success of this institution. I am truly appreciative of Dr. Adam Breerwood for allowing me to attend an institute of this magnitude.”  

The faculty for the institute is selected from the community college leadership field to include highly skilled presidents, chancellors and groundbreaking leaders.  Institute faculty leverage their community college leadership expertise and field-based practical skills to formulate new paradigms while securing foundations that shape the practice of community college leadership. 

“Considering current community college challenges and opportunities, a need exists for strong educational leaders.  Dr. Barnes embodies this potential.  He has a tremendous heart for student success and supports the PRCC Mission through a student-centered approach,” says PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood.  “Through this program, the AACC is preparing the future presidents of community colleges and universities.” 

Currently, Dr. Raymunda Barnes serves as the PRCC Assistant Vice President for Hancock Campus and has overseen the expansion of the Hancock Campus Unmanned Arial Systems and Practical Nursing Programs.  In Fall 2023, construction of the hangar will be completed housing a new Aviation Maintenance Program. 

“Dr. Barnes exemplifies the model of service and leadership excellence,” stated Dr. Jennifer Seal, Vice President for Hancock Campus.  “While serving in an administrative role for PRCC, he is positively engaged in the Hancock County community by serving as the Chair of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, member of the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, and member of both the Ochsner Health Board of Directors and the Coast Electric Advisory Board.” 

AACC provides a variety of resources for member community colleges.  The organization serves as a national informational resource, leverages funding opportunities for innovative programs, offers professional development and networking initiatives, and encourages a shared commitment to the community college movement.  AACC is governed by a 32-member Board of Directors, which acts on behalf of the institutional members in its national advocacy role. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG). 

June 16, 2022 - 4:09pm
Going against trends, PRCC freezes in-state tuition for sixth consecutive year

Going against trends, PRCC freezes in-state tuition for sixth consecutive year

Students sit at desks in Seal Hall Classroom at PRCC

At a time when costs are rising across the country, Pearl River Community College is bucking the national trend in an effort to better support its students. The PRCC Board of Trustees voted June 14 to keep in-state tuition unchanged for the 2022-23 school year.  

PRCC has continued to be efficient with its budget in an effort to give those important savings to in-state students in the form of yet another tuition freeze for the sixth consecutive year. The college is one of the few Mississippi institutions to not increase tuition during that timeframe. 

“Higher education costs around the state and country continue to escalate but we have not put any of that added burden on the backs of our students and instead have kept our in-state tuition frozen since 2017,” said PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “We have always sought to remove obstacles that people often encounter when pursuing a degree and the financial challenge is often the greatest hurdle. At Pearl River we are determined to keep our tuition unchanged so we can give all the students in our community an opportunity to pursue the highest quality of education.  

“Our goal has always been to keep our education affordable, accessible and efficient and thanks to the dedication of our faculty, staff and Board of Trustees, we’ve once again made that goal a reality.” 

Beyond keeping tuition at a steady rate, the college recently adopted a $30 per credit hour fee for courses using digital materials. The move to ebooks and digital resources has significantly decreased the expense for students compared to traditional print materials that can be hundreds of dollars per course. This option allows students to pay just $90 per course or $450 for a full 15-hour semester. 

“While most community colleges and universities across the country are increasing tuition, PRCC is once again freezing tuition and being more efficient internally to offset our costs,” said Candace Harper, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Business Services. “It is important to us that students are financially able to attend college without a high debt after completing their degree.  

“Our administrators were once college students with the same struggles and we understand the burden of paying for an education. Our priority is to make sure PRCC is affordable, accessible and efficient for all who seek an education.” 

For full tuition information, visit


Pearl River offers a variety of ways that students can decrease their out-of-pocket expenses for attending college. More than $4.5 million in institutional scholarships, both academic and service-based, were provided during the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, the PRCC Development Foundation has hundreds of scholarships students can qualify for through a simple application. These scholarships total over a million dollars each year and are made possible through the generosity of donors. 

PRCC students who are residents of Forrest County, Hancock County or the City of Hattiesburg are eligible for additional help through the County Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP.)  CTAP will cover the current cost of tuition per semester for up to a maximum of four consecutive semesters (excluding summer school) after all federal, state, and institutional scholarship aid that is awarded to a student has been applied.  


The PRCC Board of Trustees has also approved a 5% increase in salary for faculty and staff of the college, effective July 1. This marks the fourth year of pay raises that recognize the hard work of the faculty and staff.  


PRCC’s Alumni Association and Development Foundation manages scholarships with a variety of criteria attached to them. Individuals, families, or organizations can start scholarships to benefit future students. This can be done as a full endowment with a $10,000 minimum, a partial endowment, or an annual gift. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG). 

June 20, 2022 - 1:35pm
Pearl River joins area schools in supporting nursing education

Pearl River joins area schools in supporting nursing education

Nursing program directors and administrators at MOU signing at USM June 2022

At a time when the demand for nurses is high, Pearl River Community College is continuing to do its part in meeting the healthcare needs of local communities. PRCC joined Alcorn State University and Jones College on the campus of University of Southern Mississippi on Monday to enter into memorandums of understanding that support nursing education in the state. The institutions are working together to improve the health of Mississippians by increasing the number of nursing graduates from diverse backgrounds. 

Representatives from the four schools came together at The National Office in the Trent Lott Center. Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Campus, Allied Health, and Nursing Programs, represented PRCC at the table alongside Interim Provost of The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Gordon Cannon, President of Alcorn State University, Dr. Felecia M. Nave, and President of Jones College, Dr. Jessie Smith. 

“We are taking resources and we're maximizing the benefit by this partnership,” said Causey. “This partnership between institutions is going to allow us to meet the healthcare needs of our communities, and everyone knows there's a shortage.” 

Dr Jana Causey from PRCC signs MOU for nursing programs June 2022

Dr Jana Causey signs MOU for nursing programs June 2022.


The schools in attendance announced two pre-licensure partnerships. The partnership has two components: an admissions pathway and an academic success pathway. The goal is to increase the number of nursing graduates in the workforce. 

Qualified students not admitted to the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program have an alternative admissions pathway. They can apply for the Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) or Practical Nursing (PN) programs at Alcorn, Jones, or PRCC. Upon successful completion of the ADN or PN program, eligible students will be able to return to the BSN program at USM. 

The agreement also has an academic success pathway. Students experiencing academic difficulty in the BSN program would be informed of either the ADN or PN program at the participating schools. If they maintain eligibility, they will have the opportunity to return to USM after successful completion of the ADN or PN program. 

Dr Melissa Bryant Dr Jana Causey Dr Arlene Jones at MOU signing with USM June 2022

Dr. Melissa Bryant, District Wide Practical Nursing Department Chair/Instructor of Practical Nursing, Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Campus, Allied Health, and Nursing Programs, and Dr. Arlene Jones, Director of the Associate Degree of Nursing program.

“These partnerships will minimize the time to nursing degree and entering the workforce,” said Dr. Lachel Story, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at USM. “It will limit financial aid utilization and will increase student success and potential by meeting with students where they are and supporting them to achieve their goal.” 


Nursing Instructor describes process to nursing students

PRCC recently announced an expansion of the ADN and PN programs, made possible with funding from an Accelerate Mississippi Pine Belt Healthcare grant. The Forrest County Campus is adding a traditional ADN program in addition to the LPN to ADN evening program added last fall. An LPN to ADN evening option is starting up on the Poplarville Campus as well as expanding the number of students in the traditional ADN. 

The Practical Nursing (LPN) program has also been expanded by 30 students, spread across the three campuses. 

“At Pearl River, we are teaching our nursing students to be not only capable in their jobs, but to be compassionate, caring members of the community,” said Causey. “We are committed to graduating nurses who will stay local and serve the healthcare needs of Mississippi.” 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG)

June 21, 2022 - 11:09am
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